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davidt
Member



Joined: 2006/5/21
Posts: 326


 4 difficult questions.

I have found that I and some friends come into the same theological difficulties over and over. I desire to expose them and consider them in hope to resolve.If you know how to answer or at least have wisdom on the subject please edify. The focus here is on seemingly tow sided issues.

1. How do we know when to step out in faith or to be lead? How do we know that stepping out in faith is not testing the Lord? One says be humble and wait another says be courageous and go?

2. Echatology end times is it pre, mid, or post trib?

3. Calvinism or Arminianism?

4. Revival is it needed or should we be content and faithful with what we have? Is it too extreme or are we not extreme enough?

 2006/8/29 14:45Profile
OverSeer
Member



Joined: 2006/7/15
Posts: 153
Geneva, Alabama

 Re: 4 difficult questions.

Quote:
1. How do we know when to step out in faith or to be lead? How do we know that stepping out in faith is not testing the Lord? One says be humble and wait another says be courageous and go?


There is a fine line between faith and flesh, between trusting the Lord with all our hearts and leaning on our own understanding. Matthew 4:1-11 gives clear illustration out of the life of Jesus as to how He operated in the realm of faith (trusting the Lord with all His heart) and renounced the realm of flesh (leaning on His own understanding). Knowing the scriptures and how they apply is key!

Quote:
2. Echatology end times is it pre, mid, or post trib?


There is already a thread on this topic under lounge on page 2 entitled "Pre-Trib Rapture. The key in one's viewpoint of the timing of the rapture is how he or she views "the wrath of God." If one views the entire tribulation as the wrath of God then he or she will be pre-trib and rightly so if that definition is true. If one views the last half of the tribulation as the wrath of God then he or she will be mid-trib and rightly so if that definition is true. If one views the wrath of God at the end of the tribulation then he or she will be post-trib and rightly so if that is the correct definition for God's wrath. I am personally "pre-wrath." I believe that the wrath of God is defined in the Bible as the "Day of the Lord" and that doesn't occur until the Lord cuts the tribulation short and begins to pour out His wrath - it is then that I believe the rapture will occur.

Quote:
3. Calvinism or Arminianism?


This is basically an argument between the sovereignty of God and the free will of man. While there are many other aspects of doctrine in each camp that are set against each other I believe that these two are the root from which all the arguments come from. There are godly men in both camps and there are godly men in neither camp.

Quote:
4. Revival is it needed or should we be content and faithful with what we have? Is it too extreme or are we not extreme enough?


To not desire revival would be to take on a fatalistic viewpoint. We who know the fear of the Lord should persuade men (2 Corinthians 5:11). And it should be our ambition to proclaim Jesus Christ, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ (Colossians 1:28).

Grace and peace
Olan


_________________
Olan Strickland

 2006/8/29 16:01Profile









 Re: 4 difficult questions.

1. a. Listen to the Spirit.
b. Because stepping out in faith should never be "testing" God, if it is, it isn't of God.
c. It takes maturity in the Spirit to discern the voice of God, and that takes time & obedience, and time spent reading the Word.

Ultimately, there may be times where we are still unsure, and not positively sure, about "what to do"-- in these times, God lets us choose what we will do, with what we know about Him and His will, and he does this a lot, at least with me.

2. I believe Jesus will come for us after the tribulation. (Matthew 24:24, 30-31)

3. Neither, they both are right.

4. Thy will be done.

Jordan

 2006/8/29 16:14
letsgetbusy
Member



Joined: 2004/9/28
Posts: 957
Cleveland, Georgia

 Re:

1) In a word, just obey the Scriptures. If you read, then do, you will not be acting in the flesh, you will be in the will of God.

2) Let me know when you get a short, solid answer from someone. I lean toward a tribulation first, then Christ's coming from what I read in Scripture.

3) I agree that aspects of both are true. We are free moral agents, and God is in complete control.

4) Agreed, again. 'Thy will be done on earth, as in heaven.' What is the chief difference in heaven and earth? There is no sin in heaven. We should be asking that the first thing God does is make earth like His residence. That is the purest definition of revival. God's kingdom being set up in a community.


_________________
Hal Bachman

 2006/8/29 23:46Profile









 Re: 4 difficult questions.

1.Read Heb chap 11. also be faithfull in the clear teachings of the Lord and you will grow in sensitivity to act un the sometimes unclear actions of faith. 2.Post trib; reda Math 24 as if "you did'nt know any better" and you will see more clearly what the Lord is plainly saying concerning this doctrine.3. Be neither, rather be secure in the Lord and fear sinning, beware of the warning Lord Lord did we not do wonderous works and he says never knew you,"lawless" one. 4.If a christian or a group of christians are "asleep in the light" then they need to be awakened or revived. Be refreshlingly cold or stimulatingly hot, lukewarm drinks are not tasty in our Lords mouth. God bless,John

 2006/8/30 2:00
ginnyrose
Member



Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7471
Mississippi

 Re: 4 difficult questions.

davidt,

You are asking questions most people at some point or another do for various reasons...perhaps because there are people in different camps yelling for a hearing? and approval? It does not hurt to ask questions but it does make a difference where you go to get your answers: this is the bottom line for ALL questions as pertains to Biblical truth.

Now I will answer as I understand it:

1. About stepping out in faith: I suggest you ask the LORD first of all to teach you to be able to recognize His voice and to learn to be obedient.And with this request ask him to teach you to recognize sin and how to respond to it. This will take time because you are human and humans are naturally stubborn and do not learn fast. When you cooperate with God in this point, question #4 will be on its way to being answered.

2.Eschatology. Lots of views on this subject and if you frequent this forum often you will see lots of discussion on this topic. I definately have my opinion/understanding on this question....however, after having lived over 59 years it seems to me regardless what camp you are in there will remain unanswered questions - if you are honest enough to acknowledge it. So what does one do? I suggest you be ready to meet the LORD at any time. No one person can tell the LORD Jesus how he should do things: he will do them according to his own pleasure. It is fruitless to argue and debate this issue. Many churches - I am told - have split over this and that is so sad and stupid - it happened because there were two different opinions who thought they knew it all and they were right which put them at odds with others.

3. Arminianism or Calvinism? It may be helpful for you to read the Bible independent of any lit dealing with these issues which will mean you will need to leave most of it alone because these ideas will influence writers and how they approach life, holiness. But there is a lot of worthwhile lit out there you could benefit from, so I suggest you immerse yourself in the WORD and let it teach you. Once you have this WORD in your heart, then you will be able to discern better what doctrine is from God. In the meantime, when you read and study the word, ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate you, teach you and then be teachable!

Young people often get confused because of the different voices out there. The answer to this confusion again is the Word of God: this Word will stand the test of time and any conflicting arguments swirling around you. It will enable you to recognize false Christs as they appear. (BTW: did you see that post with the link to a man that says he is Jesus Christ? Now if it were not so serious, it would be terribly funny! The guy is, excuse me, a deceiver, and I am afraid anyone who follows him is deceived. And how do we know? Just by being familar with basic Bible knowledge.)

I hope this helps. God bless you in your journey of faith in Jesus Christ. Just remember we are growing in faith until we die: one never reaches a point in which no growth can happen or is essential. You are either growing or dying: take your pick!

Hope this helps..

ginnyrose


_________________
Sandra Miller

 2006/8/30 10:48Profile









 Re: 4 difficult questions.

Hi davidt,

I'm going to answer only Qs1 and 3.

Quote:
1. How do we know when to step out in faith or to be lead? How do we know that stepping out in faith is not testing the Lord? One says be humble and wait another says be courageous and go?

My perspective and experience on this was transformed by hearing a definition of faith: FAITH is believing what God has said to you.

Putting this into practise means two main things: listening for the word of God coming to you through the Spirit, AND, reading the written word of God after asking Him to clarify to your understanding, what you are about to read.

When reading, and the Lord speaks to you of what it means, stop and think about it; let it sink in; factor it into other things you know about His nature and mind. Above all, believe it. Let it tune you into the qualities of His whole Being, so that when a word comes via the Spirit, you can more easily recognise it as being from Him.

As far as stepping out in faith, this can ONLY be possible if God has given you a specific word. Sometimes this comes through reading the Bible, by a relevant application appearing to you as the solution to a matter already on your heart. Other times, the word which comes to you is only a part of what is going on in your relationship with God... He is inviting you to prove Him faithful.

One thing I'd add about obedience to such words, is that you may feel stressed or strained for trusting Him, but, the person who will be blessed, or the world [i]watching[/i], will see you obeying the high calling which you proclaim the rest of the time. God will never ask you to do something which does not further His glory somehow, or which undermines His testimony on earth.

Quote:
3. Calvinism or Arminianism?



As it happens, I had a revelation about this last night, because of the discussion in another thread (A Critical Spirit), which I find today has been locked for 24 hours. I've been open to the Lord to understand what has been going on there, and eventually, one of the main participants in the last 10 pages, suggested I'm a Calvinist. My being very hazy about the formal definition of what a 'Calvinist' believes, I asked a couple of brethren. Then I went to sleep.

When I woke up, with some relief, I [i]knew[/i] what has been happening....

It appears that if one is anti-Calvinist (and presumably, if one is anti-Arminian the same may apply), one is forced to find a solution for the words of Jesus which fall into that (or either) camp. This attitude does not acknowledge that whichever way one comes to understand God's heart, it is valid - depending on one's own [i]previous[/i] indoctrination or belief system.

Therefore, what I realised this morning, is that when Jesus is making a statement such as 'my sheep hear my voice', which could be interpreted as Calvinistic by an Arminian, he is forced to re-interpret those words by putting them through his anti-Calvinist seive, to make sure they disassociate Jesus with Calvinism.

To be perfectly candid, I think it's a bit disingenuous. I can say such a thing only because I've been steeped in a combination of Calivinist acceptance of God's sovreignty, and an Arminian acceptance of the free choice man makes to engage with Him, for many years now (by reading the word of God and hearing it expounded free from such verbal associations).

(Am I making sense?)

Incidentally, this is what happened with the Presbyterian church in Scotland, during the Reformation.... [i][b]anything[/i][/b] which could be interpreted as sympathetic to Roman Catholicism, was avoided - to the extent that even though Jesus told us to break bread every time we meet, the Presbyterians limited this act of rememberance to four times a year! That's extreme!

One [i]could[/i] say Jesus was both a Calvinist and an Arminian - but, that would be to reduce His word - the Rock on which we build our eternal dwelling - to the limited understanding of us mere humans. Rather, I would say that both Calvinists and Arminians have flagged up two major scriptural facts by which we are blessed to be in tune. And God in His infinite grace and mercy to all humans, knowing how the church would battle with doctrines over the centuries, littered His word with what can only appear to the unrenewed mind, as paradoxical statements - perhaps purely to save those who would be saved, from both Calvinism and Arminianism and [i]many another doctrinal error[/i]. Let's receive His word without filtering it through our fallen minds!

Are we not [i]all[/i] in a lot of trouble if God is not sovreign? One possible implication if He is not, is that the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is [i]not[/i] sufficient for our salvation..... [i](Horrors!)[/i] - and that Jesus has not become King of kings..... [i](!!!)[/i] that we worship a limited God ---- limited by our choices.... ;-)

Well, of course that it also true, but, His nature is as it is. That's what it means that He was before all things and in Him all things consist. We choose to become part of those things, or, we deselect ourselves from falling into His arms of blessing. An Arminian cannot expect to be blessed outside of God.... that's why he must choose to do things God's way. However, the sovreignty of God does not mean God [i]forces[/i] His 'system' upon us - or, it would not be 'Freely you have received, freely give!', nor would His Son have a Bride who had [i]chosen[/i] to respond to His overtures of love.

Again, am I making sense?

What a believer [u]cannot safely do[/u], is resist and reject those scriptures which are entertained by the 'other side' in this 'argument'. Rather, [u]all[/u] scripture must be embraced (for obvious reasons), and in the same way as Paul resisted 'I am of Paul' and 'I am of Appollos', we should steadfastly resist being 'of Calvin' or of .... anything which is not wholly compatible with sound exposition of scripture, particularly of taking Jesus Christ - the Word made Flesh - at His word.

(Sorry if this is a bit long.... hope it helps to reduce the inclination to divide scripture into schools of thought. The 'school of thought' we need to be absorbing, is the renewing of our minds.... according to how God reveals His mind to us through the many tools He has given Himself, (from the written word and church life - the Body of Christ - to the many other types of relationship in which we engage as humans).)

 2006/8/30 11:33
Josiah777
Member



Joined: 2004/2/17
Posts: 99
Sterling, VA

 Re: 4 difficult questions.

Hi Davidt,

In reading your questions, may I respectfully suggest that the answers you are looking for are not the answers? Many sincere believers think that having the right doctrine is the answer, but miss the deception that they could have all their doctrines correct but of a different spirit than the Lord Jesus Christ.

I copied a few extracts from an article from Zac Poonen called "Why Spiritual Movements Decline" which I present for your consideration:

"...believers are more taken up with the letter of the Word than with the Person of Jesus Christ. When any doctrine becomes more important than personal devotion to Christ, then decay and self-righteousness and Pharisaism are invariably the result.

What does the history of the church at Ephesus teach us? Just this - that no doctrine is as important as a fervent devotion to the Lord Himself. There is one and only one mark of true spirituality - that the life of Jesus is manifested increasingly in our behaviour. This in turn can come only by an increasing personal devotion to the Lord Himself. Paul was a godly man - a fervent and faithful apostle who was devoted to the Lord Jesus until the very end of his life. And he warned believers everywhere that Satan would try every means possible to turn them away from a "simple devotion to Christ" (2 Cor. 11: 3).

Errors in doctrinal matters such as "baptism in water" and "baptism in the Holy Spirit", are not at all as dangerous as losing one's personal devotion to Christ. Yet many believers never seem to realise this."

http://www.cfcindia.com/web/mainpages/articles.php?display=article10

If all we are doing is feeding upon the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and not upon the Tree of Life--Jesus, we are going to go astray. If we are seeking fervent, personal devotion to Christ Himself, all the treasures of true wisdom and knowledge will open up to us (Col. 2:2). May all our doctrine be the fruit of union with Christ as the Holy Spirit reveals the life from the Word of God.


_________________
Ken Marino

 2006/8/30 16:56Profile









 Re: 4 difficult questons


ginnyrose, thank you so much for your answer. I'm usually rushing my time online these days, and I didn't read yours before I posted. I believe your Bible-centred approach is ultimately the only safe one.

Quote:
I suggest you ask the LORD first of all to teach you to be able to recognize His voice and to learn to be obedient.And with this request ask him to teach you to recognize sin and how to respond to it. This will take time because you are human and humans are naturally stubborn and do not learn fast. When you cooperate with God in this point, question #4 will be on its way to being answered...

3. Arminianism or Calvinism? It may be helpful for you to read the Bible independent of any lit dealing with these issues which will mean you will need to leave most of it alone because these ideas will influence writers and how they approach life, holiness. But there is a lot of worthwhile lit out there you could benefit from, so I suggest you immerse yourself in the WORD and let it teach you. Once you have this WORD in your heart, then you will be able to discern better what doctrine is from God. In the meantime, when you read and study the word, ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate you, teach you and then be teachable!

...people often get confused because of the different voices out there. The answer to this confusion again is the Word of God: this Word will stand the test of time and any conflicting arguments swirling around you. It will enable you to recognize false Christs as they appear. (BTW: did you see that post with the link to a man that says he is Jesus Christ?...

I agree the thought this man has many thousands of followers world-wide, is extremely sobering. Being turned back to the written word of God again and again has gradually removed me from the make-it-up-as-you-go-along atmosphere which pervaded the churches of my early years.

 2006/8/31 5:07





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